May 7, 2009 / 3:39 AM / 10 years ago

Dylan brings it all back home with No. 1 album

Rock musician Bob Dylan performs at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles May 5, 2004. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Bob Dylan, whose Billboard 200 chart career began in 1963, landed his fifth No. 1 album Wednesday.

“Together Through Life” opened atop the list with sales of 125,000 during the week ended May 3.

That gives the iconic singer-songwriter back-to-back No. 1s with studio albums. In 2006, “Modern Times” also debuted in the penthouse. But the earlier set bowed with a much stronger number — 192,000. “Modern” was ushered in with an Apple iTunes/iPod TV spot, which starred Dylan himself singing that album’s “Someday Baby.” “Together” did not have such a splashy marketing tie-in.

The new album’s first week is more in line with sales for Dylan’s “Love and Theft” in 2001 (134,000 for a No. 5 debut) and 1997’s “Time Out of Mind” (102,000 for a No. 10 debut).

Last week’s No. 1 album, Rick Ross’ “Deeper Than Rap,” registered a not-unexpected 67.5 percent second-week decline, falling to No. 4 with sales of 51,000 after his debut with 158,000. It’s not unusual for hip-hop albums to take a nosedive in their second week, as sophomore-frame falloffs earlier this year demonstrated: Jadakiss’ “The Last Kiss” fell 66.7 percent, UGK’s “UGK 4 Life” slipped 65.6 percent, and Jim Jones’ “Pray IV Reign” fell 68 percent.

The chart’s second-highest debut came from rock supergroup Heaven & Hell — which boasts four current and former members of Black Sabbath — with “The Devil You Know,” starting at No. 8 with 30,000. The world-music-flavored compilation “Playing for Change” bowed at No. 10 with 26,000, powered by strong sales from Internet retailers and Starbucks stores.

Elsewhere in the top 10 this week, the “Hannah Montana: The Movie” soundtrack held at No. 2 with 86,000, Rascal Flatts’ “Unstoppable” climbed one rung to No. 3 with 53,000, Lady GaGa’s “The Fame” rose two slots to No. 5 with 40,000, the soundtrack to “Twilight” stayed steady at No. 6 with 35,000, the “Now 30” compilation moved up two rungs to No. 7 with 33,000, and Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” returned to the top 10 at No. 9, moving up two slots with 29,000.

Overall album sales totaled 6.17 million, down 0.6 percent from the previous week and off 18.3 percent from the year-earlier period. Year-to-date album sales stand at 124 million, down 12.5 percent from the same point in 2008.

Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters

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